Purpose: This study sought to evaluate the expression of programmed cell death-ligand-1 (PD-L1) and HLA class I on neuroblastoma cells and programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG3) on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to better define patient risk stratification and understand whether this tumor may benefit from therapies targeting immune checkpoint molecules. Experimental Design: In situ IHC staining for PD-L1, HLA class I, PD-1, and LAG3 was assessed in 77 neuroblastoma specimens, previously characterized for tumor-infiltrating T-cell density and correlated with clinical outcome. Surface expression of PD-L1 was evaluated by flow cytometry and IHC in neuroblastoma cell lines and tumors genetically and/or pharmacologically inhibited for MYC and MYCN. A dataset of 477 human primary neuroblastomas from GEO and ArrayExpress databases was explored for PD-L1, MYC, and MYCN correlation. Results: Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that the combination of PD-L1 and HLA class I tumor cell density is a prognostic biomarker for predicting overall survival in neuroblastoma patients (P = 0.0448). MYC and MYCN control the expression of PD-L1 in neuroblastoma cells both in vitro and in vivo. Consistently, abundance of PD-L1 transcript correlates with MYC expression in primary neuroblastoma. Conclusions: The combination of PD-L1 and HLA class I represents a novel prognostic biomarker for neuroblastoma. Phar-macologic inhibition of MYCN and MYC may be exploited to target PD-L1 and restore an efficient antitumor immunity in high-risk neuroblastoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research